Sep 16, 2005

Seagate Presents Butterfly Garden to Marsiling Primary School to Encourage Nature Conservation and Study of Native Species

During this mid-autumn festival, Seagate's gift to Marsiling Primary School comes in the form of three butterfly-shaped gardens where special butterfly-attracting plants grow. The design and construction of this natural habitat for native butterflies was done in conjunction with the Nature Society Singapore (NSS), and will be cared for by students, the school's nature ambassadors.

Seagate officially unveiled the butterfly garden to Marsiling Primary with a symbolic ceremony lighting butterfly-shaped lanterns hung around the garden. The event was also in conjunction with the launch of the school's mid-autumn festival celebrations, which included the exploration of a nature trail for parents and students, hosted by 20 of the school's young nature ambassadors.

"Seagate's gift of a butterfly garden to Marsiling Primary School will enable its students to appreciate how simple activities can help in the conservation of nature," said Reza Nikfar, plant manager of Seagate's operation in Woodlands. "The project is an extension of Seagate's own environmental conservation effort to the local communities, and in this outdoor classroom of a butterfly garden, we know that the school will benefit from nature's lessons."

Situated in the middle of the school's compound, these butterfly-shaped garden patches are the center of attraction in Marsiling Primary's garden of 500 square meters. Already, food plants such as Common Asystasia, Singapore Rhododendron, lime, curry bush, wild cinnamon, Crownflower, Stringbush, Snakeweed and tumeric have been planted.

According to NSS, a well-maintained and good-sized garden can potentially attract up to 20 native butterfly species. The garden is now primed for the nurturing of the caterpillars of Singapore's native species as well as the young minds of Marsiling Primary who will now have the opportunity to experience first-hand, the science of life in a natural environment.

"Learning is a natural process that takes place as we embrace and experience a subject matter. Hands-on interaction is a powerful educational tool and we hope to excite and engage our students on local ecologies through their involvement in their very own butterfly garden in their schools," said Pearly Ng, vice principal, Marsiling Primary School.

Marsiling Primary School is one of the four beneficiaries of Seagate's community environmental efforts, and was selected based on its enthusiasm for and active participation in nature conservation, as well as its close proximity to Seagate's manufacturing operations at Woodlands.

"The school appreciates the great lengths companies like Seagate go through to contribute to the community, and I am impressed with their professionalism in partnering with NSS to provide the consultation for the setup of the garden, the purchase of butterfly-attracting plants and raw materials and even workshops for our Nature Ambassadors. You can sense a high level of expectation among the students, eager to experience butterflies' life cycles. The nature ambassadors are also keen to share their knowledge and skills gained from the "Fun with Butterflies" workshop conducted by NSS for the lower primary students. This project not only adds value to the school's existing science curriculum, but also makes the community involvement project more meaningful for our students," added Ms. Ng.

The launch of the Seagate-Marsiling Butterfly Garden takes place after Seagate's very own butterfly garden at its Ang Mo Kio disc drive manufacturing facility was launched earlier in June this year. Mayflower Primary School, Yangzheng Primary School and Si Ling Primary School are the other three beneficiaries of Seagate's sponsorship and are likely to launch their butterfly gardens in the coming months.

"It is Nature Society's hope that more of such gardens will proliferate across our island. We are pleased and encouraged by Seagate's active partnership with an NGO like ours to help safeguard Singapore's native biodiversity and benefit our community. We hope that projects like this will pave the way for more local and global environmental projects which serve to conserve our natural heritage," said Dr Geh Min, President of Nature Society (Singapore).

Seagate's environmental conservation effort is part of the company's Global Citizenship program that guides how the organization conducts its business in ways that will help minimize the negative impact on the environment. The company constantly develops or improves upon manufacturing processes that help conserve energy, reduce hazardous and solid wastes, as well as reducing lead content in its hard disk drives.

About Seagate Technology
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